Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa


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King oped in U.S. News & World Report: Do Democrats Support Amnesty or Security?

Feb 6, 2015

Given the president’s intransigence, Congress can either choose to violate its oath and become accomplices to President Barack Obama’s shredding of Article I, or members can use every tool provided by the Founding Fathers to protect the Constitution.

It is clear to me that members of Congress have no choice, but to defend their own prerogative and honor their oath. Once the duty is clear, the only real question is the tactic. The Constitution’s most targeted and least invasive remedy is the power of the purse. Congress can simply target the unconstitutional actions of a president and strip all funds and fees from being used to carry out those actions. This is uncontroversial and has been done many times. In fact, if you scan appropriations bills, you will find funding limitations for certain actions scattered throughout.

The trap door for using the power of the purse is that the president must sign the bill that strips him of funds to continue his unconstitutional actions. If the president was really concerned with working within the constraints of the Constitution, then there would be no crisis to confront. Therefore, we can assume a stand-alone bill that strips funds and fees for the president’s illegal and unconstitutional acts would be vetoed. Given the abdication of Congressional prerogative we have seen from Democrats (after the election was safely over), it is also safe to assume there is no way to override that veto.

So we know a stand-alone bill is dead and any presentation of one is a show vote as doomed as the Charge of the Light Brigade. Serious strategies will include finding bills that the president cannot veto and including in them language stripping funding for executive amnesty. The Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill is one such piece of must-pass legislation.

We all know DHS has many important components to keep us safe in a dangerous world that seems more perilous by the minute. Republicans have responded by funding those components. All that is included in that important legislation is the removal of use of funds and fees to carry out the president’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty. The choice, then, is with the president and Democrats about whether they would rather defend unconstitutional amnesty or fund homeland security.

This is a good strategy which can prove instructive for the American people. After Democrats railed against the president acting alone on amnesty when they had to face the voters, they have closed ranks around amnesty now. So the question is: Do Democrats support amnesty or security? Would the president place his amnesty over doing his job to protect the United States?

In closing, Congress is bound by oath to defend the Constitution. As a part of that duty, we must make a good faith effort to stop the president’s illegal and unconstitutional acts. Neither show votes nor lawsuits demonstrate fulfillment of our duty to defend the Constitution with everything in our power. Congress can demonstrate it is interested in both funding DHS and defending the Constitution. It is up to the president to decide whether he is more interested in violating the Constitution than he is in defending the homeland.

To view the original article source, click here.

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